Christmas in Milan, part 3: Window Displays

As I mentioned in my last Milan post, the city was a goldmine of beautiful, artistic and crafty shop window displays – of course, most were winter or anyway holiday-themed. Because part of my current uni project involves the analysis of two shop windows which feature my selected trend (fur), I took the chance to take loads of pictures of any piece of visual merchandising that caught my eye, whether because really well-done, or just plain odd or unusual. Can’t say that my boyfriend was particularly happy about me zigzag-ing from one side of the street to the other to take photos! Nevertheless, here’s a first bunch of them:

Christmas in Milan, part 3: Window Displays @Thorns Have RosesIMG_7688 copyHard to capture on photo, but this Tezenis store had floating light balls which slowly moved up and down – which was similar to one of my early ideas for one of the sections in my project.

IMG_7688bIMG_7689 copyLoved this Zara display.

IMG_7690 copyIMG_7690bIMG_7691 copyIMG_7692 copyIMG_7693 copyIMG_7693bBenetton kids and women displays.

Christmas in Milan, part 3: Window Displays @Thorns Have RosesIMG_7695 copyIMG_7696 copyWhite fur was used in more than one window to recreate the look of snow and play on a “winter wonderland” theme.

IMG_7697 copyLoved this messy festive display!

IMG_7698 copyIMG_7699 copyInside & Other Stories.

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Christmas in Milan, part 1: The city

Since our very first year together, my boyfriend and I have developed a sort of tradition that for every New Year’s Eve we travel to a new country (so far we’ve done Slovenia, Ireland and Estonia). This year, however, we were a little short of money, so we settled down for visiting Milan, where we could stay at my grandaunt’s flat, which is only a couple of hours away from where I live.

I had of course been to the city several times before, nonetheless it was exciting to be in such an international Fashion capital at one of the busiest times of the year.

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The Dome was spectacular as usual, it is definitely one of my favourite buildings and it is always a pleasure to see it standing in all its glory in the middle of the huge square, Piazza Duomo. Especially now that it was faced by an almost-equally-tall Christmas tree!

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Of course, we couldn’t miss taking a walk down Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, house of many luxury retailers, cafés and restaurants, including Prada’s flagship store. It has some of Milan’s oldest shops and it is considered one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.

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The Swarovski Christmas tree glimmering with thousands of Swarovski stars.

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I will post some more images later with some very creative window displays and some shots of La Rinascente, Milan’s luxury retailer and upscale department store!

Hundertwasser Haus

The colorfully decorated exterior façade of Hundertwasser House draws attention to itself almost magically. Anyone who lives in the Hundertwasser House also has the right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste. More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city.

[Excerpt from Wien.info. Read more on Wikipedia]

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Something to look back on: work view

A while ago, during my first week at university (also known as induction week) we got the chance to see some of the final projects of students from previous years. I thought it was a brilliant way to give us a taste of what we will be working on over the next months (and years), and I remember feeling excited as I looked for booklets and portfolios that caught my eye and being in awe as I flipped through the pages. I gotta say, some of those works looked so professional, I wasn’t sure whether to feel thrilled that I’d be doing such amazing work or inadequate that I would never be able to achieve such great results!

I took a few snaps of some of my favourites and meticulously saved them in a folder on my laptop, for future references.

Now that I’m nearing the end of my first semester, I feel like I understand some of those photos better and I can take away more from them than I could before. After sitting through lectures, taking plenty of notes and restlessly looking things up in my spare time, I feel like I now know what to look for a bit better than my 9-weeks-ago self, I am ever-so-slightly more savvy on the subject and I can therefore appreciate these works more and, hopefully, find a way to use what I loved about them in my future work.

Writing things down always help me, so I thought, why not write a blog about it? I am confident that I will come back to these notes in the future (and by then I will probably be even more “savvy” and will be embarrassed by my own naiveness. But that’s kind of the point of internet, isn’t it?).

Click to enlarge the images!

bill cunningham: a chronicle of NY fashion trends

To ease into induction week and to get into the visually-oriented mindset that we will need during our course, we started off with a screening of the movie/documentary ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ by Richard Press. The movie was a fresh and insightful view into the life of 80+ New York-based legendary photographer Bill Cunningham, a man who almost entirely dedicated his whole life to his work and passion: street style. As I watched him go about his daily routine, carefully inspect the hems of the skirts of the women passing by on the pavement, and sometimes even chase an eye-catching outfit through heavily-trafficked streets, I couldn’t help but feel utter admiration towards this man. His dedication to clothes and his talent in spotting trends as they are born among the widely-varied New Yorker crowds were beyond inspiring, especially when topped by his humility and sense of humour.

“We all get dressed for Bill.”

– Anna Wintour

His philosophy? “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do”. And he most certainly lives by it. For the sake of preserving his artistic freedom, Cunningham has rejected most of the material goods that the majority of people in our society would consider mandatory: a private bathroom, a kitchen and a closet full of clothes. His tiny flat being essentially a storage for his negatives and photographs, he spends his days by cycling through the streets of New York to spot new and recurring trends, selecting which photos to keep (very few are actually published) and putting them together to write an article on whatever trend has caught his eye. His work is his life and his life is his work.

It was also interesting to hear his opinions circa the fashion industry as a whole and the glamour and glitter that this environment is drenched in. He is clearly fascinated by it, but at the same time he prefers to keep his distance from it. Cunningham successfully made a name of himself in the fashion world even though his persona doesn’t exactly match the dazzling, gleaming socialite image: an aged man, very reserved, living the humble life, who has been wearing the same cheap blue coat for several decades, and who simply doesn’t participate in the glittering fashion events and parties that he attends as a mere photographer, never a guest. As if he were staring through a looking glass, he observes but doesn’t touch, documents but doesn’t get involved. He wants to be invisible; which is what differentiates him from the aggressive paparazzi.

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👋 Bill! #hyperlapse #nyfw

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I have definitely enjoyed watching this movie and found it to be quite the perfect start to this course. As a movie junkie myself I can hardly hide my excitement for the Film Club sessions we are going to be having on each Monday afternoon, and I look forward to finding inspiration as to how to integrate my love for movies and TV into my own visual communication concept.


links:
“Bill on Bill” – NYTimes.com
“Why Bill Cunningham is actually the most interesting person at Fashion Week” – Huffington Post

“Bill Cunningham New York” (2010) – IMDb

photo credits:
the sartorialist